WHY ARE YOU SURPRISED? PART I
Back when Stephen Harper was President of the National Citizens Coalition, he had this to say about free speech:
Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society. It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.
Now that he is in a position to do something about it, Harper is singing a different tune:
Q: Will the government amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prevent unwarranted interferences in free expression by human rights commissions?
A: The government has no plans to do so. We’re certainly aware of the issue. My understanding—we’ve been monitoring this closely—I think you’ll actually see there’s been some modification of behaviour on the part of the Canadian human rights commissions. The most egregious cases right now are mostly at the provincial level. And it is a very tricky issue of public policy because obviously, as we’ve seen, some of these powers can be abused. But they do exist for valid reasons, which is obviously to prevent public airwaves from being used to disseminate hate against vulnerable members of our society. That’s a valid objective. It’s probably the case that we haven’t got the balance right, but I’m not sure the government today has any answer on what an appropriate balance would be.
What's changed between then and now? Then, Harper was the leader of an organization based in Calgary; now, he is the leader of an organization based in Ottawa. It's as simple as that. Harper has many failings, but he knows how to count; BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Alberta together have only 92 seats in the House of Commons, while Quebec and Ontario together have 181.
Our Central Canadian elite has decided that only repression can keep our Tower of Babel from crashing to earth. Here in the West, we can huff and puff till we're blue in the face, but it's all wasted breath if the East decides otherwise.
To All Persons Interested in the Western Block Party:
The leader of the Western Block Party, Douglas Christie, will appear on CBC Television for 2 minutes on Saturday, April 23 at 11:30 EDT (or 8:30 AM Victoria time) and again Monday, April 25 at 23:55 EDT (8:30pm Victoria time)..